8 Types Of Ducks In Cricket
A common thought for many young cricketers walking to the middle to start their inning with the bat must be ‘don’t get out first ball!’, especially with a peers filled balcony looking on. The word ‘don’t’ shouldn’t exist in any cricketer’s mindset, but far be it from me to challenge what a batter thinks when walking to the middle.
Getting out for a duck is one thing, but have you ever thought of how many ‘types of ducks’ exist? Of course, they are only labels attached to a batter that fails to trouble the scorer because 0 runs is 0 runs no matter what they’re called, but your teammates will gladly remind you, more so when you're trying to forget.
For the unlearned plenty that are still trying to understand our beautiful game, getting out for a duck in cricket means you have been dismissed without scoring any runs, and a big 0 will go against your name on the scoreboard.
The term ‘duck’ in cricket comes from the good old days when the 0 on manual scoreboards, such as Adelaide Oval, looked like a duck egg, more pointed at the top, wider at the bottom. Hence when people ask, ‘what did so-and-so get in their inning?’ you would reply ‘a duck’.
For those still learning about the game or you if you simply didn’t know, there are 8 types of ducks in cricket. I never wanted to score one duck, let alone 8, but here are the ways to give your teammates a laugh and the chairman of selectors reason for a long hard look:
Golden Duck In Cricket
Perhaps the most common and widely spoken by spectators, commentators, and players alike. A batter dismissed on their first ball of an inning will grant them a Golden Duck. We have seen far too many of these following Australian Cricket around the world since 1995 and they are never good unless it is an opposition batter of course!
I remember giving the South Africa crowd a big wind up about Steve Waugh, the best batsman in the world at the time, coming in to save the 3rd ODI in Cape Town 1997; Australia 2-25 chasing 246 to win. The great man was castled first ball by some hack called Rudi Bryson, and my night under the oaks was ruined. By the time Steve got in the shower, Australia was 4-25 but let's digress.
Silver Duck In Cricket
It should be no surprise that when a batter gets out on the 2nd ball of their innings, it is called a Silver Duck. This is a term I’ve never heard any cricket commentator of player say, though if you were the batter, you wouldn’t be in any position to say anything. It is more usually referred as a ‘2nd ball duck’.
Bronze Duck In Cricket
When a batsman is dismissed for a duck, without perhaps needing to say it, on the 3rd ball of their inning they will stroll off with a Bronze Duck against their name. If you haven’t scored by the 4th ball, then the label you may need attached to your inning is 'boring'!
I shared this feature with a mate who replied, "I'd never heard of a Silver Duck or a Bronze Duck, but I'm pretty sure I've scored both of them!" 🤣
Diamond Duck In Cricket
Perhaps the most horrible of all, a Diamond Duck is when a batsman is run out, timed out, or has obstructed the field without facing a ball. Mind you, you can be stumped on a wide and go to the showers for a duck without having faced a legal ball. Whether you call that a Golden Duck or a Diamond Duck is irrelevant to the scorers!
Royal Duck In Cricket
This is label is attached to opening batters when they get out in the first ball of the innings. England’s Alastair Cook kindly did this in the 3rd Ashes Test Australia vs England in Perth 2013 when Ryan Harris bowled him with one of the great balls of the century, or at least the greatest ball of that test!
Laughing Duck In Cricket
When batters gets out for a duck to end an inning it is known as a Laughing Duck. If you play for the Nepotists Cricket Club in London you get laughed at no matter when you score your duck, because playing for ‘The Greatest Team The World Has Ever Seen’ is always fun! #PlayersWanted
A Pair In Cricket
When a batter suffers the ignominy of being dismissed for any kind of duck in both innings of the same match it is called 'a pair'. Australia’s Mark Taylor did this in the 1st Test Pakistan vs Australia in Rawalpindi in 1998 only to follow up his famous Don Bradman equalling 334* at the 2nd Test in Peshawar. My match ticket:
King Pair In Cricket
If suffering the humiliation or embarrassment of a Golden Duck in the 1st inning of a Test Match is not enough, getting out first ball in the 2nd inning of the same test also, will earn you the label ‘King Pair’. Australia’s Adam Gilchrist endured the wrath of the India crowd when achieving this unwanted feat in the famous 2nd Test India vs Australia in Kolkata 2001. DRS technology would have shown the ball pitching 30cm outside leg, in fact low-resolution TV replays show that, and perhaps Indian Umpire Bansal would not be doing a lap of honour with the Indian Cricket Team!
No duck is good, so just get bat on ball and get off the mark!
Batting Hattrick In Cricket
This feat is only achieved with a series of ducks. It is a collection of 3 dismissals in 3 balls, across any consecutive test inning. Adam Gilchrist scored one in Australia’s Cricket Tour to India 2001. Out for 122 in the 1st Test in Mumbai, Gilly then had that King Pair in Kolkata in the 2nd Test.
A batting double-hattrick would be 4 dismissals in four balls. An unique triple batting hattrick of 5 dismissals in 5 balls was earned by India’s Ajit Agarkar on the India Tour of Australia 1999-2000.
Out for 19 in the 1st inning in Adelaide, Agarkar scored a Golden Duck on his next 4 trips to the middle and was caught off his 2nd ball in the 2nd inning in Sydney, to give him a Silver Duck and thus avoiding a quadruple batting hattrick. At the next Australia Vs India Test Match in Mumbai 2001, Agarkar scored another Pair, though off 27 balls this time!
Conversely, for all the outstanding batters that never scored a century at Lord’s Cricket Ground, Ajit Agarkar did with 109* in the 1st Test England Vs India in 2002 getting his name onto the much revered Honours Boards in the visitors' dressing room.
Pakistan’s Asif Masood’s hold the record for the longest time taken to achieve a batting hattrick, his 3 balls faced over 3 Tests, over 2 years, the achievement reached in 1971. Australia’s last batting hattrick was Mike Hussey in 2011.